Should Sydney Trains fares be lower? The case for lower fares

 
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
What? you might be thinking from the topic title, since Sydney trains is at something like 70% government subsidy, why would you lower the fares?
I personally think that the current Concession prices should be the prices of Adult fares, and all children should get the $2.50 pension fares.

DISADVANTAGES OF LOWER FARES
  • Potential requirement for increased government subsidy BUT increased patronage might keep the subsidy at current levels.
  • Potentially increased overcrowding
  • Potentially increased number of 'undesirables' on public transport


ADVANTAGES OF LOWER FARES
  • Increased patronage
  • Less cars on the road meaning less congestion and accidents
  • Travelling as a family on public transport is more practical (it's currently chepaer to drive (espcially intercity/regional) as paying current fare prices for each family member is more expensive than petrol)
  • Public transport may become more attractive than driving (a fuel efficient car can be competitive with adult fares)


What are your thoughts?

Sponsored advertisement

  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Patronage is already rapidly increasing at close to 10% a year. It appears Sydney Trains does not need to lower already 70-80% subsidised fares to appeal to more people.
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

What? you might be thinking from the topic title, since Sydney trains is at something like 70% government subsidy, why would you lower the fares?
I personally think that the current Concession prices should be the prices of Adult fares, and all children should get the $2.50 pension fares.



What are your thoughts?
Ethan1395


troll topic ... government cannot do maths .. it's 100% gov funded with some cash being return via ticket sales and fines ...

1 - the transport system is mostly outsourced  

2 - transport system is limited - missing links and hard to get to industrial areas ( too hard or limited time table ). easy to get to the shop or city..

3 - nothing like a fuel and tolls taxes ...

4 - school kids ride free - joke when the kids go to a private school or use the bus over a riding a bike ..

5 - it's a joke

6 - if you don't like the train you can do the all stations bus services ...
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Driver

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
What I do like about Sydney is that daily and weekly fares are capped. Yes, the daily cap in Sydney is $15.00 compared to about $9.00 in Melbourne and $10.00 in Adelaide but for that $15 you can travel from Goulburn to Scone and back again with a late night night run out to Bathurst if so inclined. Personally, I think that’s pretty reasonable value. I may be wrong but I don’t think any other Australian public transport system lets you travel that far for so little.

I find the most expensive city to get around in on public transport is Brisbane.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
There should always be a non-zero fare since tapping on and off generates lots of useful statistics.

Also non-zero fares helps identify vandals, etc, who cannot see the point of paying for anything.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Sydney fares are good value for money and lowering fares to expect an offset in increased revenue is near phydically impossible.

The real question should be, should fares be increased to help fund network expansion.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Overcrowding is the main problem resulting from lower fares. If there is a compelling argument to take the train or bus instead of the car, herd mentality dictates that commutes will become an even worse cattle run than what they are now... People will be falling off platforms. The existing network cannot cope with current patronage during peak hour.
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
To be a complete bastard, fares should be increased 1st Jan 2020 by 25%.

To be predictable, there'd be shock, horror, and outrage at this % increase. Absolutely. And i get that.
But the kicker is - what are you going to do? Get in your car in protest and not use public transport??
No, i didn't think so. Evil or Very Mad
The truth is you'll cop the kick in the bollocks from the fare increase because you don't have a real choice in opting out.

However, if annually there were adverts etc showing network improvements from your fares, I'd suspect this would be met with a better public perception of where your $$ went?

So NO, fares should NOT be lower. Go HIGHER.
IMHO, If I'm seeing good improvements in the network over the year, i don't mind seeing fare increases above CPI.
But that's just me.

Any deemed excess in revenue generated should IMHO be ploughed back into network/infrastructure improvements and advertised as such


Regards
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
What I do like about Sydney is that daily and weekly fares are capped. Yes, the daily cap in Sydney is $15.00 compared to about $9.00 in Melbourne and $10.00 in Adelaide but for that $15 you can travel from Goulburn to Scone and back again with a late night night run out to Bathurst if so inclined. Personally, I think that’s pretty reasonable value. I may be wrong but I don’t think any other Australian public transport system lets you travel that far for so little. I find the most expensive city to get around in on public transport is Brisbane.
Travelling Hooker
For a single person travelling, the value is fine for the most part, put the problem is, for being travelling in groups (such as families), the car is cheaper (well fuel is, the car is more expensive but that expensive comes in the fixed costs of insurance and registration).

There should always be a non-zero fare since tapping on and off generates lots of useful statistics.

Also non-zero fares helps identify vandals, etc, who cannot see the point of paying for anything.
awsgc24
I would never suggest zero fares, apart from children travelling with parents, I know someone who doesn't like driving and wishes they could use public transport, but can't since driving is cheaper than paying OPAL fares for themselves plus their multiple children.

Overcrowding is the main problem resulting from lower fares. If there is a compelling argument to take the train or bus instead of the car, herd mentality dictates that commutes will become an even worse cattle run than what they are now... People will be falling off platforms. The existing network cannot cope with current patronage during peak hour.
ANR
Well I guess that speaks for itself, peak fares to and from the Sydney CBD should remain the same, but off peak fares should be cheaper.
And while I'm at it, if the government actually cared about public transport in places outside of Sydney (like Newcastle and Wollongong), cheaper fares could be offered since getting people ON platforms is a struggle (no need to worry about them falling off), but the government doesn't care about public transport outside of Sydney unfortunately.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Sydney's problem is not car's full of families clogging the roads, its cars with only 1 person. Cars with 4-5 people per vehicle are actually more environmentally friendly and cost effective for users and govt than using rail.

There is a strong argument for above inflationary peak fare rises, as the trains are mostly packed and therefore the govt (taxpayer) should be capitalising on this to help fund the system growth. 25% is too much in one go and look how Qld screwed up applying ongoing 3-4 x inflationary rises and then basically had to undo it. 3-5% in YoY increases is above inflation and more than enough without annoying the commuting voters too much.

Off-peak, the fares are already low enough to make it competitive against almost anything else and if they won't use the trains now they never will. Address the real issue and its not fares.

Children are already free to age 5 or something, so no need for change.

What I disagree with is teenagers paying full fare but yet cannot legally drink, vote, legally engage in sex or smoke etc and when they work they get paid very low wages but expected to pay adult fares. There needs to be one rule, you are either a minor or you are not and this should be set by law universally to one age and that is Age 18.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Why would you lower fares when people are already crowding to use the service. The service is much cheaper then the car and the system needs to make as much money as it can. The solution is to get more patrons by building new rail lines.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Sydney Trains' fares should definitely not be reduced, as they are already low by world standards and the current cost recovery is unacceptable.  Over the long term, the government should aim for at least a 50% cost recovery based on fares.  

The bulk of passenger journeys from the suburbs is to the CBD and other high profile business centres such as Parramatta and North Shore destinations.  Alternative private car use in these situations is not an option because of the limited availability and high cost of all day parking.  It's a captive market.  The travelling public will just have to accept it, as there is no alternative.  On the positive side, the greater cost recovery would enable the government to invest more funding in upgrading the existing network to improve services in tandem with expansion of the metro network in the higher density inner city regions.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Sydney Trains' fares should definitely not be reduced, as they are already low by world standards and the current cost recovery is unacceptable.  Over the long term, the government should aim for at least a 50% cost recovery based on fares.  

The bulk of passenger journeys from the suburbs is to the CBD and other high profile business centres such as Parramatta and North Shore destinations.  Alternative private car use in these situations is not an option because of the limited availability and high cost of all day parking.  It's a captive market.  The travelling public will just have to accept it, as there is no alternative.  On the positive side, the greater cost recovery would enable the government to invest more funding in upgrading the existing network to improve services in tandem with expansion of the metro network in the higher density inner city regions.
Transtopic
Agree with your comments on 50%.

However I would like to see the subsidy data without the Interurban network and what the cost recovery is during peak period.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
My view is, like others know, road user charging should be implemented to more clearly link the cost of a car trip to the use of the road.  People will then more accurately make decisions when travelling and likely choose public transport more than they do now.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
My view is, like others know, road user charging should be implemented to more clearly link the cost of a car trip to the use of the road.  People will then more accurately make decisions when travelling and likely choose public transport more than they do now.
james.au
I agree with the concept of road user charging, but Australian governments of all persuasions have shied away from it because of the negative political fallout.  It would generally disadvantage lower income workers who have to travel longer distances to work from the outer suburbs, which may not necessarily be in the CBD or within convenient reach of public transport.  A possible compromise would be to restrict the road user charge for private car use, excluding commercial vehicles, to an exclusion zone within the CBD, such as occurs in London and Singapore.  Perhaps someone with some knowledge on this can inform us of how successful this strategy has been.  It still wouldn't negate the need for a higher cost recovery for public transport use.
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Sydney's problem is not car's full of families clogging the roads, its cars with only 1 person. Cars with 4-5 people per vehicle are actually more environmentally friendly and cost effective for users and govt than using rail.

There is a strong argument for above inflationary peak fare rises, as the trains are mostly packed and therefore the govt (taxpayer) should be capitalising on this to help fund the system growth. 25% is too much in one go and look how Qld screwed up applying ongoing 3-4 x inflationary rises and then basically had to undo it. 3-5% in YoY increases is above inflation and more than enough without annoying the commuting voters too much.

Off-peak, the fares are already low enough to make it competitive against almost anything else and if they won't use the trains now they never will. Address the real issue and its not fares.

Children are already free to age 5 or something, so no need for change.

What I disagree with is teenagers paying full fare but yet cannot legally drink, vote, legally engage in sex or smoke etc and when they work they get paid very low wages but expected to pay adult fares. There needs to be one rule, you are either a minor or you are not and this should be set by law universally to one age and that is Age 18.
RTT_Rules
Holiday traffic still seems to bother everyone, and I imagine that families getting away when purchasing multiple interurban fares can't be competitive with petrol, the fact that public transport is terrible once you arrive at an interurban destination also can't possibly help holiday traffic.

One of my family members travels 5.5km to work, and when their car needed repairing, they had to borrow someone else's, I asked why they could not use the bus (they both lived and worked near a bus stop, and it was a direct bus, the only problem was the scenic route and hourly frequency), and they would be spending more on buses then on petrol - and I can believe that.

Only children 3 and under are free, that age needs to be older to make it competitive for families to take public transport.

Agree with the issues with teenager fares, it possibly contributes to putting them on the roads early.

The bulk of passenger journeys from the suburbs is to the CBD and other high profile business centres such as Parramatta and North Shore destinations. Alternative private car use in these situations is not an option because of the limited availability and high cost of all day parking. It's a captive market. The travelling public will just have to accept it, as there is no alternative. On the positive side, the greater cost recovery would enable the government to invest more funding in upgrading the existing network to improve services in tandem with expansion of the metro network in the higher density inner city regions.
Transtopic
After reading this topic, I probably wouldn't support lowering peak fares to destinations like this where the car is not competitive,

I would support lowering off-peak fares, and all fares in other cities, take Newcastle for example, the government spends money and runs a pathetic excuse for a service as an obligation, and then expects people to pay petrol-competitive fares to use it, and no one ends up using it, so by the government not wanting to spend money to upgrade the service and lower fares, they are just burning money running the expensive obligation service.

My view is, like others know, road user charging should be implemented to more clearly link the cost of a car trip to the use of the road. People will then more accurately make decisions when travelling and likely choose public transport more than they do now.
james.au
What exactly is 'road user charging' and how does it get charged, is it like more tolls?

I think one of the biggest problems regarding cost of driving vs cost of public transport is simple, much of the high cost of driving comes from simply owning the car before you even turn the key.
You have to pay thousands for registration, insurance, and maintenance, that the cost of petrol seems so low in comparison, and the cost of public transport not seeming any cheaper than petrol, a motorists mindset would be "I'm spending so much to have this car, and so little to drive it, and the train isn't any cheaper than petrol, I'm going to drive everywhere and all the time as much as reasonably possible"
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

What exactly is 'road user charging' and how does it get charged, is it like more tolls?
Ethan1325
Think of it as a tax on the kilos that you drive around the suburbs, so linked to your odometer, ( instead of petrol tax). They will have to go that way as EVs don’t use petrol. But it’s politically difficult like introducing GST. “Nobody will be worse off”

Toll roads play a part in getting people to use public transport, so we need more of them. At the moment people can avoid them but in some cities a whole area is covered so no chance of avoiding.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
A possible compromise would be to restrict the road user charge for private car use, excluding commercial vehicles, to an exclusion zone within the CBD, such as occurs in London and Singapore.  Perhaps someone with some knowledge on this can inform us of how successful this strategy has been.  It still wouldn't negate the need for a higher cost recovery for public transport use.
Transtopic
Cordon charges have been shown to not be as effective as desired.  People drive to the boundary of the cordon and the congestion just moves there.  Plus if there are exemptions, people just buy the vehicles that are excepted such that traffic returns to pre cordon levels with different types of vehicles.  

No, a broad system wide charge is needed that applies to all, with some variation for vehicle type (eg heavy truck vs light truck vs car vs bus etc)
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
What exactly is 'road user charging' and how does it get charged, is it like more tolls?
Ethan1395
Currently in NSW you pay about 450 per year as motor vehicle tax - this is hypothecated to be the amount you use the road.  but it is fixed and if you drive 1km or 100,000 you pay the same amount.

What it should be is a usage charge, where you pay $x per km, depending on your vehicle type (see above).  This is just the maintenance/construction charge.  On top of this you could put on a  congestion charge, however this is far more difficult to calcalate and apply, so for now just the maintenance/construction charge should go in until they work out the

Is it like tolls? Yes and no.  It's like the M7 toll in Sydney were you pay per KM of use.  Not the M4/M5 tolls which are one off charges regardless of the amount of the motorway you travel on.

In this model, tolls as we know them now will probably be removed from roads, as would the fuel excise, motor vehicle tax (above) and perhaps some other minor related taxes too.

Whilst this sends more price signals to drivers, of course it doesnt take into account fuel and motor vehicle operating costs - though with computerisation it isn't inconceivable that these can be presented to drivers as well (or at least estimates based on vehicle types).
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
A possible compromise would be to restrict the road user charge for private car use, excluding commercial vehicles, to an exclusion zone within the CBD, such as occurs in London and Singapore. Perhaps someone with some knowledge on this can inform us of how successful this strategy has been. It still wouldn't negate the need for a higher cost recovery for public transport use.
Cordon charges have been shown to not be as effective as desired. People drive to the boundary of the cordon and the congestion just moves there. Plus if there are exemptions, people just buy the vehicles that are excepted such that traffic returns to pre cordon levels with different types of vehicles.
james.au
Even now, there is congestion around railway stations from those travelling to car-inconvenient locations, commuter car parks frequently fill up and where possible, street parking can back up 500m up the road.
The train may run every 15 minutes - early morning to late night, but when the feeder bus only runs hourly or half hourly, and not at all at early morning, late nights, or weekends - so even to get to the train - the car it is.
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5959629/nsw-liberals-promise-to-cap-travel-to-50/
Looks like fares are being lowered;
The weekly cap is being lowered from a petrol competitive $63.20 to a more reasonable $50.

However, there is no word on if other caps will be lowered.
To see the full benefits, the daily cap should be $10 maximum, bus trips should be free if connecting with a train, single trips should be $1 cheaper, and if only travelling 1 or 2 stops, the fare should be $1.

I know someone who travels form the Hurstville area (not close enough to the station to walk) to Sutherland, and they tell me they reach the daily $15.80 cap and it's cheaper to drive.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Because taxpayers don’t subsidise enough of the business...
  Manu Beginner


4 - school kids ride free - joke when the kids go to a private school or use the bus over a riding a bike ..
viaprojects

Concession pricing during peak times needs to be addressed if you tap Opal on during peak hour you should be charged the same price for using the same service
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

4 - school kids ride free - joke when the kids go to a private school or use the bus over a riding a bike ..
Concession pricing during peak times needs to be addressed if you tap Opal on during peak hour you should be charged the same price for using the same service
Manu
Good Point, with the following exception. There will be times when OAP do not have a choice but to travel in peak for medical and other beyond their control. So perhaps they be given a concession of X many trips a  year?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

OAP's only pay a maximum of $2.50 a day for public transport in Sydney regardless of the time of day.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.